5 Things You Can't Forget to Bring Wine Tasting

Whether it's your first time to wine country or you’re a seasoned pro, there are a few simple items you can bring along wine tasting to ensure your day is the very best it can be.

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Bellying up to the tasting bar at Ferrari Carano Winery in Dry Creek Valley.

I’m a TOTAL planner (in case you couldn’t tell!) and like to be prepared for every situation, so today, I'm sharing a short list of the five items I can’t forget to bring when I go wine tasting:

1. Breathalyzer

If hiring a wine tour company or transportation isn't in the budget, keep everyone safe during your wine tasting adventures by investing in a breathalyzer. There are many options out there, but I like the brand, BACtrack. After testing a few different styles over the years, I’ve found this one to be the most accurate and it even connects to the BACtrack app on your phone via Bluetooth to show you your BAC level. All those wines add up, so it's worth every penny to stay safe!

2. Cash

When you've had an exceptional experience at a particular winery, it's nice to leave a tip for the person that poured for you at the end of your tasting. I usually tip $5-20, depending on number of tasters, how much wine we bought, and quality of the experience. Most wineries do not have POS systems that will let you add a tip when you purchase wine, so remember to snag a couple twenties at the ATM before heading out.

3. Snack

Everyone gets hungry while wine tasting, so bring along a snack for when you get the munchies! Keep it to something simple, like crackers, that won’t ruin your palate and just leave it in your car or purse while tasting. Some wineries have picnic areas, but I recommend calling or checking the winery's website ahead of time to inquire about their specific policies.

4. Cell Phone Charger

You don’t want to miss a single moment of capturing your amazing wine country trip to text your bestie back home and post to your Instagram stories, so the biggest party foul would be if your phone died. Bring your cell phone charger and most winery employees are happy to charge your phone for you if the battery is running low. Portable chargers and power banks are great solutions for this too!

5. Sweater/Jacket

Believe it or not, it does get cold in California wine country - Especially in the winter. Layers are an absolute must here, so pack an extra sweater or jacket to ensure you stay comfortable while you're out all day. Wine caves and cellars are very chilly, so better safe than sorry!

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Mezmerized by the reflection of the chateau at Ferrari Carano in the glass.

I hope this list help you plan for your next trip to wine country! For more of my wine tasting adventures, follow me on Instagram.


Stephanie Hopkins Photography